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      January 19, 2019

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SimpliSafe vs Guardian

Best Wireless Security Systems

To help you find the Best Wireless Security Systems, TopConsumerReviews.com provides you with an in-depth comparison of SimpliSafe and Guardian.

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Now more than ever, homeowners are looking for ways to protect themselves and their property. With more than 2 million burglaries each year - and an average loss of $2,000 per incident - wireless security systems are at the forefront of safeguarding against intruders.

It is true that there are other ways to make your home safer from burglary and invasion. For example, a well-lit exterior can discourage criminals from approaching your property, and high-quality deadbolts make it more difficult to enter your home. Unfortunately, even these measures will not prevent a determined criminal from picking the lock, smashing a window or slider door, and entering your home to steal your belongings or worse.

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Best Reviews

2019

Wireless Security System Reviews

3 stars
SimpliSafe

SIMPLISAFE Visit Site

Features:

$229.99 for equipment starter kit

No installation fees

No monthly contract

Monitoring plans cost $14.99-$24.99/month

Touted by celebrities like Dave Ramsey and others, SimpliSafe provides wireless security systems that can be installed easily by the average consumer and that have no contracts to sign. As with most no-contract systems, SimpliSafe requires that customers purchase equipment outright, starting at $229.99 for the starter set, but their low monthly monitoring costs - less than $25/month - definitely result in savings over time.

So, what's included in the starter package? Ideal for small homes and apartments, this set includes one base station and wireless keypad, one entry sensor, one motion sensor, and one keychain remote for $229.99. Larger packages include the Economy package, which adds two more entry sensors for a total cost of $259.99; the Classic package, which adds a smoke detector and siren to what's included in the Economy set, for a cost of $349.99; the Master package that has a total of two motion sensors and six entry sensors, along with the smoke detector and siren, for $449. 87; and, finally, the Ultimate package for $539.85, which has a total of two motion sensors, four entry sensors, the siren and smoke detector, along with a panic button, water sensor, carbon monoxide detector, and freeze sensor.

And, for additional savings, SimpliSafe is the only wireless security system we found that has refurbished equipment for sale. This could save you as much as 30% on the purchase of your wireless security system.

SimpliSafe breaks their monitoring into two easy-to-understand plans:

  • Standard, which includes round-the clock protection.
  • Interactive, which allows you to access the app to monitor your home activity and control settings directly from your laptop or smartphone. We also saw information promoting a Secret! Alerts bonus that can alert you when someone opens a private area such as a gun safe or liquor cabinet, but we couldn't find more details as to which sensors would be required or how that feature is set up.

We like that SimpliSafe offers free shipping on all products, a 3-year product warranty, and an exceptional money-back guarantee for 60 days after purchase.

On the other hand, we felt that SimpliSafe falls short in two significant ways. First, most wireless security systems are based on the concept of using technology to control everything from arming the system to changing the temperature in the home, and it seems stingy of SimpliSafe to charge extra just to be able to use their app to change the system features. SimpliSafe doesn't currently offer thermostat controls, door locks, or camera monitoring, while many of their competitors do.

Also, we were discouraged to see a considerable number of customers who said that they were awakened by false alarms on more than one occasion, and that the monitoring service took as long as five minutes to contact the homeowner. Those same customers often had difficulty in getting a timely response from SimpliSafe's customer service department when trying to resolve the issues (which often required switching the system's cellular coverage from T-Mobile to Verizon or vice-versa).

We strongly recommend that customers start with one of the smaller, less expensive equipment packages - possibly refurbished or purchased second-hand - and giving it a thorough testing in the first two months, in order to take advantage of the 60-day return policy if needed.

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2.5 stars
Guardian

GUARDIAN Visit Site

Features:

Professional installation

Award-winning 24/7 monitoring

Pennsylvania-based Guardian Protection Services has been in business for more than 60 years and recently expanded their traditional home security systems to include wireless-based packages.

Their current offerings include four plans:

  • Edge Essential: standard equipment package of a color touchscreen control keypad, 3 door/window sensors and 1 motion sensor, yard sign and window decals, wireless/cellular coverage, 24/7 professional monitoring, Guardian VoiceLink (two-way voice communication with the monitoring center), and geo-services (which allow you to set up an arm/disarm event trigger if you forget to set the system when you leave the perimeter of your yard or other location)
  • Edge Control: this package includes the sensors and features of the Essential plan and adds 1 door lock, 1 thermostat, 2 light modules, and 1 garage door switch
  • Edge Plus: all the features of Edge Control, with an added motion sensor with a built-in camera, giving you a visual image of what triggered the motion detector
  • Edge Premium: everything in the Edge Plus package, plus 2 indoor WiFi cameras with night vision

In order to find out what a Guardian Protection Services plan will cost you, you have to call and set an appointment with one of their specialists. Be aware that Guardian itself only services a handful of markets themselves (which you can find hidden away in the About Us section of the website), any other areas are "serviced by Guardian authorized dealers". From what we were able to sleuth out, packages start at $34.99 and go up considerably from there. Guardian requires professional installation of all equipment, and we would have liked to see more transparency with respect to costs - both for the installation itself as well as a baseline for their different tiers of service.

Another detail we would like to see spelled out more specifically is the contract length required with their wireless security systems. Reviews we read described three-year contracts with hefty cancellation fees; one customer even continued to be billed for their system after their house burned to the ground and took a year to rebuild, despite having notified Guardian of their situation.

One positive of Guardian Protection Services is the number of accolades they've received: their award-winning monitoring center, which was given a five diamond rating by the Central Station Alarm Association, an A+ rating and accreditation with the Better Business Bureau, and a Super Service Award with Angie's List.

We give Guardian Protection Services middling marks for their wireless security systems; that score would easily improve with greater transparency in their pricing, both for packages and installation, and in the terms of their service contracts.

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Continued from above

For that reason, experts in home protection strongly recommend that you invest in a wireless security system, particularly those that have round-the-clock monitoring, to give you the greatest possible peace of mind. Most criminals will bypass homes that have a monitoring system, simply because it puts them at greater risk of being caught in the act.

Compared with traditional home security systems, wireless versions allow you to install them on your own and can easily be moved from one location to another - a convenient advantage for those who move frequently, such as students living in dorms or those who move around the country for work reasons.

Having a wireless security system can also save you money. Many homeowners insurance policies will give you a discount on your annual premium - as much as 20% - with an installed home protection package.

Wireless security systems can vary widely with respect to the protection they offer, the equipment provided, and the overall cost. Also, some offer 24-hour live monitoring of your system, while others leave that responsibility to you.

What should you look for in a wireless security system? Be sure to consider the following aspects:

  • Equipment Costs. What is included with your wireless security system compared to the number of sensors you need? How much does it cost to add extra sensors or other equipment that may be appropriate for your living situation?
  • Monitoring Service. Does the company monitor your system around-the-clock? Are the fees reasonable? Will the company contact local authorities in the event of a break-in or other emergency?
  • Guarantee. Does the company offer a satisfaction guarantee or a refund if there are any issues with the service or the equipment?

TopConsumerReviews.com has reviewed and ranked the best wireless security systems available today. We hope these reviews will help you find the ideal wireless security system to protect your home and your loved ones! 

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